Tuesday 24 November 2020

Toffle Towers: Order in the Court

offle Towers: Order in the Court
by Tim Harris, illustrated by James Foley (Puffin Books) PB RRP $14.99 ISBN 9780143795445

Reviewed by Nikki M Heath

Chegwin Toffle, 10-year-old hotel manager and daydreamer extraordinaire, is back in this third book in the Toffle Towers series. This time, he faces a legal battle with the revolting Brontessa Braxton, after falling into the classic trap: failing to read the fine print. Meanwhile, there are distractions aplenty as Toffle Towers is snowed in and robberies cause panic. Will Chegwin and his loyal band of staff, family and friends save the hotel once again?

This story is brimming with zany humour and charismatic, if slightly cliched, characters. A fast-moving plot broken up with cartoon illustrations and off-beat interludes - such as Chegwin’s text-message conversation with a pest controller-turned-pest hotelier - will keep even reluctant readers engaged. However, some may need help with the more challenging vocabulary and longer sentences, which are used for character-building purposes but can feel a little forced at times.

There is so much going on that it is easy to feel overwhelmed, especially if you haven’t read the first two instalments in the Toffle Towers series. The book really does stretch its audience’s ability to suspend disbelief to the maximum, but young readers will enjoy the absurdity. Fans of the series will get a kick out of revisiting familiar faces and places, and the teaser ending will have them on the edge of their seats for book four. 

This book will appeal to readers aged 8 years and up, across genders and interests, who like something a bit silly and a lot of fun.

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